A 17-year-old Peruvian boy can see more clearly after doctors plucked a worm that had burrowed into his eye by luring it with basil leaves, Central European News (CEN) reported.  

A stomach-churning video shows doctors in the Peruvian capital Lima using tweezers to nab the 1-inch parasite with tweezers. Carolina Marchena, the opthamologist who performed the procedure, said the worm likely infected the boy, named only as Jamie, when a mosquito carrying fly eggs on its legs bit him while he was sleeping.

Marchena told CEN the operation was crucial because the parasite’s location had the potential to cause swelling and spread infection to his brain.

“The location of the worm from the lower lid, which was getting bigger, made the risks increase because the young boy’s skin was swelling in an area close to the sinuses. This area is so sensitive that it is known as the triangle of death,” she told the news website.

When Jamie originally sought relief from his local physician in the central Peruvian town of Pozu, his doctor believed the swelling was due to cellulite.

After trying dozens of medications but having no luck, the boy headed to Lima, where specialists identified the worm with an MRI scan.

Marchena noted her team had to use basil leaves to extricate the worm because tweezers alone weren’t sufficient. They placed the leaves around Jamie’s eye, after which the hungry worm stuck its head out and Marchena grabbed it with the tweezers, removing the entire bug.

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